Targeted opportunities to address the climate-trade dilemma in China

Liu, Zhu, Davis, Steven J., Feng, Kuishuang, Hubacek, Klaus, Liang, Sai, Anadon, Laura Diaz, Chen, Bin, Liu, Jingru, Yan, Jinyue and Guan, Dabo (2016) Targeted opportunities to address the climate-trade dilemma in China. Nature Climate Change, 6. pp. 201-206. ISSN 1758-678X

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Abstract

International trade has become the fastest growing driver of global carbon emissions, with large quantities of emissions embodied in exports from emerging economies. International trade with emerging economies poses a dilemma for climate and trade policy: to the extent emerging markets have comparative advantages in manufacturing, such trade is economically efficient and desirable. However, if carbon-intensive manufacturing in emerging countries such as China entails drastically more CO 2 emissions than making the same product elsewhere, then trade increases global CO 2 emissions. Here we show that the emissions embodied in Chinese exports, which are larger than the annual emissions of Japan or Germany, are primarily the result of China's coal-based energy mix and the very high emissions intensity (emission per unit of economic value) in a few provinces and industry sectors. Exports from these provinces and sectors therefore represent targeted opportunities to address the climate-trade dilemma by either improving production technologies and decarbonizing the underlying energy systems or else reducing trade volumes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate-change mitigation,climate-change policy,sustainability
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 00:04
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 00:41
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/57501
DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2800

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